Friday, September 15, 2006

The Columbia, October 1958

Ahoy mateys! It's not unusual to see the Columbia docked, since it seems to only operate when the park is crowded. This slide is dated October 1958, and the Columbia began it's operation in June of that same year. I'm not sure if this photo shows some early rehab work being done, or perhaps the picture was taken before the ship opened to the public, and the photographer waited a few months to develop his film.

There are a few interested onlookers watching a guy in a wetsuit at the back of the boat (I mean the stern!). For the sake of authenticity, he is probably wearing the same sort of wetsuit that was worn in the 1880's! There are some construction walls behind those onlookers, any idea what those are for?

The Columbia is a unique attraction, and certainly is a reflection of Walt Disney's interest in American History (not to mention his faith that guests would be interested as well). It's hard to imagine anything like this being built for an amusement park beautiful as the ship is, there are no thrills, no character or movie tie-ins.


Matterhorn1959 said...

Looks like they are checking the gate that makes Fowlers Harbor a dry dock. A very nice early shot and it is always great to see workers in the slides. I believe that Daveland had shown a similar slide about a month or so ago and we decided the construction fence was for the relocation of the Indian Village.

Tangaroa said...

Well said David. The Coulmbia is a wonderful, charming and "pure-Walt" attraction. I'm thankful it's still in operation.

perkypickle said...
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perkypickle said...

spectacular shots!

well, your query about things like the Columbia being built today perfectly illustrate what made this park so wonderful.

it's as simple as Walt wanted to make it and he didn't have to ask some middle management parasite for permission.

those days are long gone at Disney unfortunately. in fact, i wouldn't be surprised if the Columbia soon becomes, "The Rocket-Schooner" thrill attraction.